Image: Verdgris - Wikimedia Commons
Richard Bell

Chinese financial group backs Alderley Edge lender JustUs

Peer-to-peer consumer lending firm JustUs has received backing from a Chinese financial group, giving a boost to its £5m fundraising goal.

Four representatives of GuanQun Investment, which has already ploughed £50k into the Cheshire-based firm, are heading to JustUs’ Alderley Edge headquarters next week (July 29) to discuss ramping up investment and explore strategic global partnerships.

Based in London, GuanQun Investment (GQI) forms part of Beijing-based Guanqun Chicheng, which has supported around 200k SMEs since it was established in 2009.

JustUs’ founder and chief exec, Lee Birkett, said: “We are excited and delighted to welcome the distinguished delegation from GQI, including members of the investment committee, and look forward to continuing our relationship with this important strategic partner.

“It is great news that an international business has spotted the potential of JustUs and also share our passion for a healthy and risk-controlled P2P lending model.”

He added: “We have been pleased with the response to our fundraising, despite a period of great financial turbulence since the EU referendum debate, and are greatly excited about the future.”

In June, JustUs embarked on a drive to raise £5.35m, with the bulk (£4m) sought from institutional investors and a further £1m via crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.

The fundraising, which will value JustUs at £26m, will allow the firm to recruit over 100 new staff and launch a new media campaign.

Since its inception, the company has secured around £2m in investment.

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